Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mom's gone. Does anyone care?

The best thing about White Bird in a Blizzard: Its title. Very poetic. Otherwise, this arty, semi-sensationalistic effort from director Greg Araki doesn't have much to recommend it -- unless you're intent on seeing every performance given by the talented Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, The Spectacular Now and The Descendants). In White Bird, Woodley plays Kat, a teen-ager living with her dad (Christopher Meloni). The event that ignites the rest of the story: Kat's bitchy, dissatisfied and often crazed mother (Eva Green) vanishes. Mom's disappearance is normalized over a couple of years while Kat continues with her life. She also has sexual experiences with a neighbor boy (Shiloh Fernandez) and with the detective (Thomas Jane) who's investigating her mother's disappearance. Araki, who's adapting a novel by Laura Kasischke, embellishes the story with arty touches such as dream sequences, but the movie's ending feels as if it has been contrived more to surprise than elucidate.

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